Nestled to the northwest of Shugborough Hall, the quaint village of Tixall beckons with its unassuming charm—boasting a modest village hall, a diminutive church, and a scattering of quaint houses. However, Tixall Gatehouse, a hidden gem, often escapes notice. Positioned discreetly along the left-hand side of Tixall Road as you journey toward Great Heywood, this historical treasure might elude your attention unless you are specifically seeking it out.

The rich history of Tixall Gatehouse is entwined with notable events involving Mary Queen of Scots and the Babington plot, a fascinating narrative too extensive to delve into within this blog. A cursory internet search will unveil a trove of information on this subject. Originally a part of Tixall Hall, dating back to the 1580s, Tixall Gatehouse stands as a lone sentinel today. The demise of Tixall Hall in 1927 saw the Gatehouse’s gradual descent into disrepair as the estate was parcelled into smaller tracts and sold off in 1960

In 1968, the Landmark Trust came to the Gatehouse’s rescue, embarking on a meticulous and extensive restoration effort. Today, this historic structure is available for holiday rentals, offering visitors a unique and memorable stay.

Having always been intrigued by the distinctive character of Tixall Gatehouse, I yearned for the chance to experience it firsthand. In 2023, that long-awaited opportunity finally materialized. Fan and I joined a group of three other individuals for a four-night stay at Tixall Gatehouse. Its strategic location served as an ideal base for exploring Shugborough Hall, where we also had the chance to explore Patrick Lichfield’s apartments, and offered excellent hiking opportunities in the scenic expanse of Cannock Chase.

Our visit took place during the first week of September 2023, where we were graced by exceptional weather with temperatures in the 30s. Regrettably, I only seized one exceptional sunrise for my photography endeavours, prompting me to leave my DJi drone dormant in my room. When the next opportunity arrived to take flight, the sunrise seemed to vanish, resulting in flat although bright conditions. Undeterred, I flew the drone in above and around Tixall Gatehouse. Later that evening, Fran and I walked to Essex Bridge, England’s longest pack horse bridge, and captured some aerial perspectives of this architectural marvel. The experience left an indelible impression, and I intend to return in autumn to further explore this photographic wonderland. However, I doubt I’ll ever encounter another opportunity to lodge in such a distinctive and historically rich edifice as Tixall Gatehouse.

A link for information in relation to DJI Mini 3 Pro

A link for information about The Lanmark Trust